Back pain is very common during pregnancy. According to Amercian Pregnancy Association, 50 – 50% women experience back pain. It’s primarily caused due to loose ligaments, weight gain and a shifting center of gravity – basically changes that your body undergoes during pregnancy. Because back pain is so common – and usually not a sign of anything worrisome – it doesn’t mean you have to resign yourself to nine months of pain.
Here are some tips to ease pregnancy related back pain:
- Maintain good posture at all times: Try to focus on your posture and how you move about in your daily routing. Stand up straight and tall, avoid standing for too long in one position.To avoid falling forward, you might compensate by leaning back a little — this can strain the muscles in your lower back and contribute to back pain during pregnancy. Keep these principles of good posture at the back of mind:
- Stand up straight and tall.
- Hold your chest high.
- Keep your shoulders back and relaxed.
- Don’t lock your knees.
- Exercise regularly: If you exercise regularly, keep continuing. Basic exercises, such as walking and stretching, may relieve your stiffness and pain. But don’t go overboard and force yourself to exercise if you feel pain, as you could strain your ligaments further. Just tone down your exercises a bit – walk more slowly, and don’t push yourself into stretches that hurt.You could also try swimming, but avoid the breaststroke, unless your face is completely in the water, as this may place strain on your back and neck.
- Get the right pregnancy gear: The right gear includes a belly support band, right shoes and the right comforting support for your sleep. Get a belly support band that will shore up your core – a maternity support band will definitely lift the growing weight of your baby and support your lower back muscles. Make sure you are wearing low-heeled shoes or sneakers – Avoid high heels, which can further shift your balance forward and cause you to fall. Finally, sleeping flat on your back is not good for you or the baby; it is also very uncomfortable. Body pillows are helpful for supporting your chest, hips, and lower back. You could also folld a thick towel lengthwise and place it perpendicular to your body at the point on your waist where your spine is its most “curved.” The towel’s length will ensure support without requiring readjustment, even if you roll over during the night.
- Practice Yoga: Yoga and other mindfulness techniques are few of the most popular techniques women turn to for pain relief. Give prenatal yoga a try – it is a top choice among pregnant women whose backs, muscles, joints, and nerves are hurting under the weight of pregnancy. Prenatal yoga also tackles emotional stress with deep, mindful breathing exercises that can strengthen and empower. Plus, yoga practice can help you sleep better and relax your mind and muscles.
- Massage: Gentle massage can ease backache, but the effects tend to be temporary. Massages can bring quick relief when back pain is acute – research has shown that in addition to relieving pain, regular prenatal massage can help alleviate depression and anxiety in pregnancy. Opt for a gentle and soothing massage – usually a Swedish massage is the most common and advisable method of prenatal massage as it uses long, smooth strokes that won’t aggravate the joints . Pregnant women should always consult with their doctors to make sure prenatal massage is safe and then make sure the prenatal massage therapist is certified.